Carmen's Crew Beats Golden Eagles to Win The Basketball Tournament 2019 Title

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorAugust 7, 2019

CLEVELAND, OH - MARCH 20: Aaron Craft #4 and Jon Diebler #33 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrate after a play in the first half against the George Mason Patriots during the third of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Quicken Loans Arena on March 20, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

An 8-0 game-ending run catapulted Carmen's Crew to a 66-60 victory over the Golden Eagles to win $2 million and The Basketball Tournament championship on Tuesday in Chicago.

ESPN @espn

Carmen's Crew wins @thetournament and takes home $2 million 💰 https://t.co/RmIw8QGdWd

David Lighty led Carmen's Crew with 17 points and seven rebounds, and William Buford added 14 points. Jeff Gibbs and Jon Diebler each had 11.

Four Golden Eagles scored in double digits led by Elgin Cook's 17. Mo Acker had 13, Jamil Wilson contributed 11 and Dwight Buycks pitched in 10.

Carmen's Crew, a team largely consisting of Ohio State men's basketball alums, dominated down the stretch to meet the Elam Ending score of 66.

Tied at 60, ex-OSU point guard Aaron Craft fired a quick bounce pass to LaQuinton Ross for two:

TBT @thetournament

.@CarmensCrew moves the rock and goes up by two! #TBT2019 https://t.co/GDw69SUTDU

On the next possession, Diebler stole the ball and laid in a bucket despite playing with a dislocated finger suffered in the second quarter:

TBT @thetournament

The Diebler steal & score puts @CarmensCrew just TWO points away from $2 million!!! #TBT2019 https://t.co/Bjoy8HGqRM

The Golden Eagles, who mainly rostered former Marquette men's hoops players, couldn't get a bucket on the other end. Buford then grabbed a defensive rebound, got fouled and knocked down two free throws for the victory.

The championship battle was a back-and-forth affair all night. The first half featured six lead changes and one tie, and neither team pulled away in the second half until Carmen's Crew's run.

Initially, the OSU alums looked like they would pull away quickly after taking a 16-8 edge into the second quarter. This Diebler triple helped the cause:

TBT @thetournament

DON'T let @J_Diebler get hot! His triple puts @CarmensCrew ahead 16-8. #TBT2019 https://t.co/PJ863taFpE

However, the Golden Eagles stormed back with a 23-11 second-quarter run. During that span, Acker gave his team its first lead:

TBT @thetournament

Mo Acker to the tin and @GoldenEaglesTBT take their first lead of the game! #TBT2019 https://t.co/dpwIccU7mm

Marquette closed the second quarter shooting 10-of-16 from the field (3-of-3 from the three-point line).

In the third quarter, Acker stayed hot, knocking down consecutive triples to give his team a 48-47 edge:

TBT @thetournament

Mo Acker, mo problems!! He hits back-to-back triples to give @GoldenEaglesTBT a 48-47 lead! #TBT2019 https://t.co/k5PNLGw3F2

Neither team led by more than one possession until the game's closing moments.

After the game, Utah Jazz point guard Mike Conley congratulated his Buckeyes:

Mike Conley @mconley11

O-H! Well done @OSULighty23 @ACraft4 @Jared_Sully0 @thekidet and the rest of the the guys! 🙌🏾🙌🏾#TBT2019

Conley, a 12-year NBA veteran, co-led the 2006-07 OSU team to the NCAA title game alongside center Greg Oden.

Current OSU men's hoops coach Chris Holtmann also gave his congrats:

Chris Holtmann @ChrisHoltmann

Big congratulations to @CarmensCrew on the @thetournament Championship! Great fun watching these past few weeks! #GoBucks

Both teams played an excellent final and clearly looked like the top two teams throughout the tournament.

The Eagles survived a second-round scare against a team of Colorado basketball alums after an 83-81 win but beat its other four opponents by an average of 12.0 points.

Carmen's Crew beat each of its first four opponents by eight or more points before knocking off four-time defending champion Overseas Elite 71-66 to earn a finals berth. None of their six victories were by fewer than five points.

And now the team is $2 million richer. Eight Carmen's Crew members will receive $200,000, including general manager Scoonie Penn, Diebler and Buford.